Supporting Medical Cannabis Patients During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Emergency Executive Order 20-26
COVID-19 is particularly dangerous for people with serious underlying health conditions. Many patients participating in Minnesota’s Medical Cannabis program are seriously ill and often immunocompromised.
To support Minnesota’s medical cannabis patients, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has issued an emergency executive order [see Executive Order 20-26 (PDF)] that gives the Office of Medical Cannabis temporary measures to protect the health and safety of medical cannabis patients, their caregivers, and medical cannabis patient center staff and for them to practice social distancing.
Executive order highlights
- Current patient enrollments scheduled to expire in the coming months are extended to expire on Aug. 1, 2020, or 60 days after the end of the peacetime emergency (which authorizes the Governor to exercise certain powers and duties provided by statute), whichever date is later. This will make it easier for vulnerable patients to stay at home and avoid them having to go out to visit their health care practitioner to recertify.
- Health care practitioners can use telemedicine to determine a patient’s qualifying condition for initial certification.
- Patients can register emergency temporary caregivers to assist them in accessing medical cannabis for the duration of the peacetime emergency. Patients can add an emergency caregiver through their Medical Cannabis Registry account. Temporary caregivers will need to upload a copy of their government issued identification in order to obtain medical cannabis at a Cannabis Patient Center.
- Temporary caregivers will not be required to obtain a background check prior to approval. Caregivers will not be required to renew their background check every two years during the duration of this peacetime emergency.
- Medical cannabis manufacturers registered with the state will implement telephone pharmacist consults and curbside pickup (in a designated zone as close to the facility’s front door as feasible) to dispense medical cannabis to patients or their registered caregiver.
If your enrollment is expiring, there’s nothing you need to do. We’ll adjust the date for you.
For health care practitioners
- During the peacetime emergency, health care practitioners can use telemedicine to determine a patient’s qualifying condition for initial certification.
- Health care practitioners may conduct assessments of a patient’s eligibility for recertification via telemedicine.